Padraig Harrington regained his world No 7 spot thanks to his fifth place finish in the HSBC Champions
The Dubliner leap-frogged Order of Merit winner Justin Rose in the latest rankings to regain his place as Europe's leading player before heading to Japan to defend the Dunlop Phoenix title.
Last season, Harrington beat Tiger Woods in a play-off at Phoenix Country Club to win his first title in Japan.
Woods is not playing this year but Harrington will face major opposition from the likes of Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, Luke Donald and Tim Clark.
Japan's Toru Taniguchi and Shingo Katayama, Spain's Gonzalo Castano Fernandez, Finn Mikko Ilonen and India's Jeev Milka Singh are also chasing the €250,000 top prize.